The Gigafactory in Grünheide is increasingly coming under fire. After IG-Metall has already snubbed the questionable working conditions at Tesla’s factory, politicians are now following suit. Some top politicians are demanding that the conditions at the electric car manufacturer be investigated more closely. In particular, in the area of occupational health and safety, one has major concerns.
Questionable working conditions at Tesla
For several weeks, the Gigafactory in Grünheide has been making negative headlines. Among other things, Tesla placed a job ad for a head of security whose stated goal is to prevent employee espionage. This was seen by many advocacy groups as a major mistrust of employees. But that’s not all. Now IG-Metall is stepping into the breach for Tesla employees. More specifically, Irene Schulz, the industrial union’s district manager for the Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony region, has voiced further criticism of the U.S. automaker:
The employees in Grünheide have done an incredible job over the past year and a half in setting up their Gigafactory. I would like to express my respect to them for this at this point as well. These colleagues started out with great enthusiasm for this project. For some time now, we have been observing that the enthusiasm is waning and disappointment is spreading. The messages reaching us from the workforce are clear: Tesla is not doing enough to improve working conditions and is leaving too little room for free time, family and recreation.Irene Schulz, IG-Metall
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Now that the industrial union has rebelled against working conditions, it seems that politicians are following suit. However, this is not only the state policy of Brandenburg. The Causa Grünheide seems rather to become a problem of federal political scope. A report in the Handelsblatt shows that criticism is coming from both the government and the opposition. Here, not only Cansel Kiziltepe from the SPD complains that Tesla still employs its employees without a collective agreement. On top of that, Christian Bäumler of the CDU criticizes the carmaker’s inadequate occupational safety. For many employees, this has resulted in unbearable overload. Added to this is the psychological pressure caused by the job advertisement for a new head of safety. We are curious to see whether Tesla can counter the accusations with an adequate response. Otherwise, there could certainly be consequences.